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Cover image for Young developer building a Startup? Maybe this post can help you in your first business journey!

Young developer building a Startup? Maybe this post can help you in your first business journey!

delimanicolas profile image Nicolas Lima ・4 min read

Introduction

There's a lot of things that you should be worried about your first Startup. In this article, I'll talk about technical concerns and how you should resolve them by a business vision.

Some information about the author

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I'm a young BackEnd developer, and 4 months ago my friends and I found ourselves in the best worst situation for a developer -> A crazy VC decided to bet on our project. I know, it sounds great, why would anyone be complaining about that?

So, here's the deal: For the first time in my life I was not coding for fun and if I fail my friends and I would be in debt for the rest of our lives.

Important things that you MUST consider before choosing your stack

Ok, although it can sound weird, the fact is that now you're not only a developer, you are a businessman (yeah, it sounds very weird). Anyway, your priorities changed now, you need to decide which tools you're gonna use to build your project, but you can't decide this regarding your preferences, you must considerate the best way to achieve your goal in time.

You must accept that you are a young no experienced developer, so you can't predict all your project needs. So, think about how to turn your project flexible.

Probably your first time doing teamwork, at least this seriously, so don't focus only on your job, think about the entire project as one.

My stack and why

Directly to the point: MongoDB, NodeJS, React Native and AWS

Ok, before explaining why I picked each one of these, here's what they all have in common: A rich community, this way it's easy to find answers, after all, if you're a young developer you already know that your best friend in the world is "HOW TO...." on Google. In short, taking these tools, every bug you possibly will face in the future, someone at 2013 already solved on Stackoverflow.

MongoDB

I still producing my app, actually, the release date is September(Wish me good luck !). Anyway, almost every day the team comes up with new ideas, and although we defined an MVP at the beginning, there's always something that we can't ignore, this way, I already changed my database structure five times since the start day.

But I didn't delete any of my old data, you see, Mongo it's a great and easy to learn NoSQL database, in short, it means that you don't have to follow a rigid schema until the end. It's a great choice for a startup, even better for a young startup owner, after all, every day I discover a better way to accomplish my duties, with Mongo I can easily apply these changes without compromising my release date.

It works with BSON/JSON documents, so it's really easy to create and use. here's an example of this type of data ->

    let user = { 
       name: {type: String, required:[true, 'Password is required']}
       phone: { type: String" },
       email: { regex: /@mongodb\.com$/ },
       relatives:{[String]},
       favoriteGame:{
                 name: String,
                 company: String }
                                }

Be careful, working with a NoSQL database doesn't mean that planning a good schema is useless. If you just blindly store your data and create a lot of confusing nested schemas you'll be in trouble.

NodeJS

Fast, efficient and fluid. Ok... NodeJS it's a great choice to work with MongoDB.In sum, JAVASCRIPT EVERYWHERE, you don't need to worry about encoders and decoders, your process is way faster and you're using the same language as the FrontEnd developer.

It saves you time and makes a lot easier the understanding between client and service side, besides this way you can use Mongoose haha.

AWS

Aws tools grant you a great support, so if you never worked with virtual instances, buckets etc. You will rapidly get used to it, there's a lot of info in docs, YouTube videos and of course, on Google.

But the most important thing, AWS LAMBDA it's a great choice for serverless tech. Using the framework "serverless", you can easily create your serverless API. What's so good about that? Well, as a young developer you don't have much experience, so it's a hard job to successfully scale your server or control and divide the traffic.

Using Lambda, you only need to create functions, all the boring work it's already done by AWS, great right? Now you don't need to fear a sudden break down of your app. Oh, before I forget, serverless tech it's only activated when someone requests it, this way you pay only for use..... way cheaper, great choice for a Startup with scarce resources.

You can store anything you want in S3 buckets, it's easy to save, retrieve and create versions of your data, great for images and backups.

React Native

Alright, React works with JavaScript, so you can keep your entire data
through your entire system(Database, API, and Interface) in JSON format. But, actually, I'm not the FrontEnd developer of my team haha, his name is Diogo and I asked him to write something explaining why you should choose React, check his article.

Thanks, everyone

Here's my Instagram if you want to discuss anything with me!

Posted on May 10 '18 by:

delimanicolas profile

Nicolas Lima

@delimanicolas

Developer , 21 - How to how to.

Discussion

markdown guide
 

Why will you be in debt for the rest of your life if your start up fails?

 

Hi Shane Barry, thanks for the interest. Well, how I said before A crazy VC decided to put money on our project, and we have a contract saying that we don't need to be a huge success in downloads but in case we don't finish the MVP inside the time we establish in the contract we should return all the money invested plus some taxes, and we're a group of College students without any money haha.
There's a lot of responsibility on us right now, but we're doing a great work so far and playing Fortnite in order to relax makes everything easier.

 

As I understood it if you incorporated wouldn't the company be liable for the money and not you personally? I don't know for sure so I'm curious to hear from someone going through it.

Hello George Offley, Well this is a very relative discussion, at the end of the day everything depends on your contract. Here in Brazil, the majority of Startup investment contracts set a minimum time for the company returns the money. In our case we don't have to return any money, we sold some % of our Startup so now the investor is one of our associates but if we don't finish the MVP we need to pay him back.
Anyway, how I said before, we're doing a great work and we're months ahead of the plan, and we really needed this cash for new employees, server expense etc.

It's not really relative, there are corporation laws that protect entrepreneurs from investors and vice versa.

As George already mentioned, you should incorporate to protect yourself from personal liability.

You said in your case you don't have to return any money, but then you go on to say that if you don't finish the MVP you need to pay the investor back? Do you personally have to pay the money back or does your company have to make the repayment? Hopefully it's the latter.

I'm confused on how you would be personally liable. It seems like a crazy disincentive against allowing VCs anywhere near your company. Businesses fail all the time, and investors lose money. I'm confused how you would somehow be liable for possibly millions of dollars in lost funding.

How do incorporation work in Brazil?

Hey, thanks again for the comment. Well, I'm not a lawyer or such a thing, but I'm aware that law is different depending which place you talk about, so I guess that law itself is something really relative, don't you agree? And perhaps I didn't explain it clear enough, but what I was trying to say is that here, in Brazil, the majority of contracts say that the Startup should return some money provided by sales, and in our case, we only need to return the money if we don't finish the MVP

In our contract, it works like this, we need to finish our work in order to justify the investment. But like I said, it's how our contract works, and for a lot of reasons that I didn't mention in this article, it was our best choice. But it's how I said, it's a really relative discussion, it all depends on your contract, and about the law stuff, I can ask our lawyer about, but it's really not the point of my article, actually, this post is about tech concerns when you need to hurry up and secure your production

But it's quite useless to discuss this with me, I know it may be strange because law it's very different around the globe. So I can't discuss what is right or not after all this is different between our countries, the best I can do if you're really into this, is send a copy of our investment contract.
But please, let's not argue about my contract using another region's law definition, it's pointless

Greetings fellow Brazilian! Just thought I'd clear it up what they're saying. They didn't contest local laws regarding whether or not they're valid.

What they're saying is that when your company receives such an investment deal, the legal burden to pay back that sum of money falls on your company, and not on you as a person.

That's the difference of having to pay back using your personal assets (money and belongings), or your company's assets (money/equipment).

The issues they raised aren't region related

Hey, thanks for the comment. I understood that part haha, but what I trying to say is that in our contract the payback falls on us as people not as a company. But it a really hard thing to explain without telling the whole story behind our deal, and it's not the focus of my article.
Anyway, thanks very much for the comment.

Ah totally understood what's happening here then.

People here are just worried about the risk you guys are going through, but obviously you guys are well aware of the risks and have an idea worth pursuing :)

Good luck to your team and hope to see your product out there soon (write up another post when that happens! A bit of shameless self-promotion never hurts anyone)

Thanks mate! And yes! For sure I'll post something about my app

 

Woah! That doesn't sound very good. Sometimes deadlines can be exceeded as a result of things we might not be able to control.

 

Nicolas, looks like to me you have chosen the right technologies for your startup. I’d like to ask you the following: how many people are working in your project and based on your current experience, how many people are needed for a project to be considered not a startup anymore? Thanks again and best luck with your endeavors.

 

Hey Luca, thanks for the comment. Well, I can't really answer that because of we still a Startup, and right now we're a group of 5(FrontEnd, BackEnd, Businessman, Economist, and Designer). And we're handling all the job so far.
But I really don't know how it will works after the release date, because we already have a lot of planned updates for our app

 

And I really don't know how it works, probably it's different when comparing our countries, but here in Brazil, doesn't matter how many employees you have, Brazilians investors define a Startup as one small company working with scarce resources and unsecured expectations